NASA’s Hubble discovers farthest star detected till date: Earendel

What is the News?

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has discovered the farthest star ever seen to date. They have nicknamed that star as “Earendel”.

What is Earendel?

Earender is the most distant star discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope.

The star has been officially called WHL0137-LS, but it has been nicknamed “Earendel”, which means “morning star” in Old English.

The star is more than 12.9 billion light-years away and likely existed within the first billion years after the beginning of the universe.

This discovery of the most distant star was made possible by a phenomenon known as ‘gravitational lensing’.

What is Gravitational Lensing?

A gravitational lens can occur when a huge amount of matter, like a cluster of galaxies, creates a gravitational field that distorts and magnifies the light from distant galaxies that are behind it but in the same line of sight. 

The effect is like looking through a giant magnifying glass. 

Significance: This effect allows researchers to study the details of early galaxies too far away to be seen with current technology and telescopes.

First Predicted by: This effect was predicted to exist by Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity in the early 20th century.

Source: This post is based on the article “NASA’s Hubble discovers farthest star detected till date: Earendel” published in Indian Express on 31st March 2022.

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